Cheng Xi had no choice but to get dressed and follow Lu Chenzhou to his grandfathers birthday banquet. Anyway, his family all knew what was going on and about his mental illness, so Cheng Xi didnt mind being dragged every which way by him.
The banquet wasnt a big affair—after all, his grandfathers wasnt reaching a nice round age—but it couldnt be considered small either. There were still at least a few tables full of people, and Cheng Xi had even run into someone she knew.
Cheng Xi. It was Lin Fan who saw her first, and he immediately came over and greeted her when he saw that she was alone.
He wasnt all that surprised, but his mother behind him was. Cheng Xi?
She actually still remembered her! Cheng Xi smiled and responded, Thats me. Its good to see you again, Mrs. Lin.
Its good to see you too. Lin Fans mother looked her up and down, a few notes of regret in her familiar tone. How long has it been? Youve grown more and more pretty over the years. Realizing where they were, she asked, Youre quite familiar with the Lu family?
Somewhat. My professor is very familiar with Mr. Lus grandfather.
Professor—youre still in school?
No, its been two years since I graduated. I meant to say that its my professor back when I was in medical school.
Medical school, oh. You must be a doctor, then…… or a nurse? A nurse is quite a respectable profession for females.
Cheng Xi smiled without saying anything, but Lin Fan was so embarrassed that he couldnt help but interject, Mom, Cheng Xis a doctor at Renyi Hospital.
Oh, at Renyi, huh. Thats a good place. I was even there to get my illness treated a while ago. Lin Fans mothers response was very natural, and she even rebuked Lin Fan a little. This child didnt even tell me that you were there.
Cheng Xi didnt know what to say. She could only note that Lin Fans mother had changed greatly since the last time she saw her. From her memory, she seemed to be a pretty but somewhat anxious woman, always wore cheap clothes, and, in order to let her and her son live a somewhat better life, worked multiple jobs a day.
But now, his mother was now wearing a white fur coat over a black silk dress. After ten years, she looked younger than ever, but the anxiety in her eyes had been replaced by an arrogance and snobbishness that left others slightly uncomfortable.
They didnt talk for long before Lin Fans mother dragged him away. Cheng Xi saw that Lin Fan was being helplessly pushed toward a well-dressed man by his mother, and, not knowing why, she sighed lightly.
Besides Lin Fan and his mother, Cheng Xi didnt know anyone else in the house—Cai Xi hadnt come, and Lu Chenzhou was busy. Although his grandparents were somewhat close to her, their intimate way of interacting with her made Cheng Xi quite uncomfortable. With nothing else to do, she hid in a corner and started playing games on her phone.
She hadnt played this game in a long time; it was a webgame called Escape from the Apocalypse. The year that she graduated, she had given her account to Cheng Yang and never logged in again. As she tried to start playing again, she found that Cheng Yang had even changed her password.
Cheng Xi stared at her phone, dumbfounded. Just as she was about to call Cheng Yang to ask for the new password was, Lin Fan suddenly walked in from behind the curtain. How did you end up sitting here?
Cheng Xi put her phone away again, and smiled. Its quiet. Seeing him, she asked, Did you escape?
Lin Fan could only laugh bitterly. It seems like you always end up seeing my familys unruliness and my difficult situations.
Cheng Xi shook her head. Thats not a big deal. She changed the topic quickly as she said. Your mother is looking younger and younger with each passing year. When you stand by her, you look more like her brother than her son.
Lin Fan smiled, but his jovial mask betrayed the underlying bitterness. Thank you. She remarried, and her new husbands background is pretty good, so these past years….. He lowered his head, held his face with his hands, and pulled on it with both hands in anguish. Im sorry. My mother behaved quite rudely just now.
Its alright. I didnt feel like she was rude. After thinking for a moment, she pulled two sweets out of her bag. I only have these two left, but do you want them?
You…… Lin Fan raised his head, and looked dazedly at the sweets in her hand. The colorful wrapping and the little squirrel with a smile so wide that one could see its teeth but not its eyes brought a comforting sense of familiarity to him.
In the past, he had owed her many a favor that he couldnt return. All he could give back to her were sweets: ten little squirrels for a single yuan, cloyingly sweet.
He had found an excuse and said that, Sweets are sweet. If you eat more sugar, youll find that life isnt as hard anymore.
From then on, she gladly took some of his sweets, and, slowly, developed her own habit of buying some wherever she went.
Cheng Xi said, Yes, Im still eating them. The more I eat, the more that I feel that your words back then held some truth to them. She unwrapped the sweet and gave it to him. What do you think?
Lin Fan looked at the sweet, and felt his heart surge with emotion. Cheng Xi, I…
Faner! Why are you here? Lin Fans mother found him at that moment. Originally her face had been full of reproach, but she started smiling a bit when she noticed Cheng Xis presence. Ah, Cheng Xis here too?
She looked at the two of them somewhat sternly. The two of you are already old classmates, so what are you doing here hiding from the gathering? Go outside, its so lively! Young people should interact with others more.
As she said this, she pulled Lin Fan up, and also was about to pull Cheng Xi up too if Cheng Xi hadnt avoided her hand. Cheng Xi then took out her phone again, and waved it as an excuse. Mrs. Lin, please dont wait for me. Ill head over once I make a call.
Lin Fans mother said, Alright, then well be going first. She turned around to look at Lin Fan, her gaze somewhat severe. Despite his unwillingness, Lin Fan could only begrudgingly follow her out.
Before he left, he looked at Cheng Xi again and said, Ill come find you again later. Will you wait for me?
Cheng Xi smiled, but didnt answer. She thought that perhaps Lin Fans mother didnt want her to say yes. Evidently, as soon as she went out to catch a breath, she heard his mother lecturing him. Why are you so impatient? What am I doing all this for? I only obtained this chance for you to be here after bothering your uncle for so long; why cant you cherish it more? If you dont want me to plan out a path for you, then at least do more for yourself, like Shen Wei from last time. Her background and her grooms background were both pretty good. Since youre all old classmates, you definitely could have taken the chance to borrow some of her influence. But what did you do? You said that you were going to invite them out to eat, but you left the lunch halfway through—you, what do you want me to say!
Mom, I dont like this sort of behavior.
Then what do you like? That doctor Cheng Xi? Son, you can reminisce about the past with her at any time, but why must you do it now? I heard that she was only a doctor, and even one from the psychiatry department at that. She wont be able to help you one bit—whats the point of sticking with her? After saying this, she suddenly remembered something, and then looked critically at her son. Dont tell me that you like her.
Lin Fan remained silent.
His mother could only sigh. Regarding matters of love, I really shouldnt be meddling with your life, but, Lin Fan, you have to remember that love isnt all there is to life, and it isnt a necessity either. Youre still young. This is the best time to start and develop a foundation for your career, so I hope youll place more focus on that. As you know, your uncle has his own children, so the resources that he can provide you with are limited. I also dont want him to think that the two of us need his support to do well, so please make something out of yourself and live well for others to see. If you dont want to use marriage as a tool for advancement, then at least find someone with the same mindset as you, who can help you out in your career. Lin Fan, I dont want your life to be as tough as mine…..
Cheng Xi didnt keep listening. She put on a smile and turned around to enter the house once more.
Once she entered, she found that Cai Yi had arrived and was chatting happily with Lu Chenzhous family. As she came in, she heard her ask, Ah, wheres your second grandson. Is he not here on this occasion?
Oh, dont mention that little brat. Being the introverted that he is, he said that there were too many people, and I really… As Lu Chenzhous grandmother was talking, she spotted Cheng Xi and quickly smiled and waved at her. Ah, Dr. Chengs here! Quickly, come over. She went forward and grabbed her hand, smiling amiably. Zhous father is here too. let me introduce the two of you.
Could she refuse?
Honestly, no. She couldnt, because Lu Chenzhous grandmother had already called Lu Chenzhous father over. Come, this is your sons…...um, friend, Cheng Xi. Isnt she pretty?
Cheng Xi was quite certain that the old lady had skipped over the word girl, but she couldnt argue. Instead, she made her best attempt to smile at his father and greeted, Nice to meet you, Mr. Lu.
Lu Chenzhous father was about fifty years of age, large and tall. Lu Chenzhou looked somewhat similar to him, but younger and with more refined features.
Regardless, his father was certainly a charming silver fox.
His voice was especially nice, as it held the special charm of a man of his age. His gaze landed on Cheng Xis face as he smiling greeted back, Ive heard of you. Nice to meet you.
Cheng Xi smiled. Trying to act like a virtuous and dignified woman was tiring on her heart and soul, and she wished fervently that an angel would come and rescue her.
As if answering her plea, just as Cheng Xi was starting to feel out of it, her phone rang. It was the hospital.
Just like a pardoned convict, Cheng Xi felt like she had been freed as she excused herself from the crowd. At that point, she had already made her mind up to find an excuse to leave after taking the call. But once the call connected, the first thing she heard was Chen Jiamans piercing screech. Aaaaaahhh!! Aaaaaahh!!
Upon hearing her sudden scream that carried with it an uncontrollable fear, Cheng Xi jumped up in fright and quickly asked, Whats wrong?
The nurse anxiously replied, Come quickly, Dr. Cheng! Something happened, something happened to Chen Jiaman! Come quickly!